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Uganda to get USD 1.4 Million to Remove Regional Non-tarriff Trade Barriers

31-March-2012

Uganda's ministry of Trade, Industry and Co-operatives has received a $1.4 million grant from TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) to remove non-tariff barriers to Trade in the country.

“TradeMark East Africa is pleased to be a key partner with the Ministry of Trade in eliminating non-tariff barriers in Uganda, the expected outcome is that relevant Ugandan organisations will remove non-tariff barriers and new ones will not be instated,” said David Stanton, TMEA Deputy CEO, Country Programmes.

TMEA has agreed to fund implementation of this strategy. The funds to be channelled through the ministry’s national response mechanism strategy for the elimination of non-tariff barriers aims at establishing new mechanisms to fight non-tariff barriers.

This includes increased capacity of Uganda National Monitoring Committee and enhanced advocacy for eliminating of non-tariff barriersat national and regional level, improved non-tariff barrier reporting by the private sector and establishment of national and regional dispute resolution mechanisms. A secretariat to manage the programme will also be established at the Ministry of Trade.

“This support from TradeMark East Africa will strengthen the advocacy and monitoring effortsand will foster the country’s economic growth,” said Amelia Kyambadde Trade minister.

This comes at a time the East African Community has established a mechanism to identify and eliminate non-tarrif barriers, sighted as one of the major threats to business across the region.

Despite establishment of National Monitoring Committees in each country, the members still face a hurdle in implementing these mechanisms, calling for support from the government and other organisations.

TMEA said landlocked countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, suffered the greatest loss from non-tarrif barriers due to distance from the main ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam but this was bound to change with implementation of the mechanism. The cost of imports of one container to Uganda, for example, is more than 3.5 times higher than in Tanzania and 2.5 times higher than in Kenya.

“A poor road infrastructure, delays at border crossings and lack of harmonised import and export standards and procedures are among the most mentioned non-tarrif barriers in this context,” reads the statement.

The East African Newspaper

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